IV Insights Blog

Posts tagged: Patent Reform

Facts: Basic and Alternative

As a new Congress descends on DC, the push for changes to our patent system continues. In February, despite already historic changes to the system over the past few years, Senate leaders called for more tweaks. With a new administration in town it’s a good time to review the bidding.  

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Latest Patent Study Misses the Point

The latest study purporting to shine a light on patents and the invention economy is a survey conducted by UC Berkeley’s Robin Feldman and Stanford’s Mark Lemley. We’ve been pointing out for years that sound data supporting the need for further changes to patent enforceability is lacking, so we were curious to see what these two academics might say about patent licensing and its relationship to innovation.

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A Renewed Focus on Patent Quality

With the 114th Congress starting in January, patent “reformers” have stepped up their cries for legislation aimed at altering the enforceability of U.S. patents. Hearing those cries, lawmakers are again debating ways to reduce patent litigation by tinkering with the management U.S. judges exercise over the patent cases pending in their courtrooms. While the effort on Capitol Hill proposes to reduce patent disputes by making changes to the tail end of the system, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has taken a different tack. 

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Turns Out $29B Isn’t the Point At All

Last year, we asked if “$29B was the point?” Based on the popular findings from James Bessen and Michael J. Meurer’s “The Direct Costs from NPE Disputes” study in 2012, the pair have recently reversed course on their definitions of NPEs — so much so that the editor in chief of Intellectual Asset Management Magazine, Joff Wild, asks whether their argument on the “costs '[patent] trolls' impose on businesses, the taxes they levy on innovation, and the subsequent harm they do to the U.S. economy generally is now rendered completely meaningless.” 

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IV in the Community: September

From Tokyo to Seattle to Vancouver, members of IV’s team will be traveling around the world this month to provide their thoughts on everything from localized IP management to patent policy and politics.

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IV’s Founders and President Applaud TROL Act on Frivolous Demand Letters

In a letter this week to lawmakers in Congress, the founders of Intellectual Ventures strongly endorsed legislation that would penalize those who threaten law-abiding businesses with frivolous and often fraudulent “demand letters” that allege patent infringement.

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What Not to Miss In the Insights Archive

We combed the IV Insights blog archive for the most read posts. From IP strategy to geek masterminds, take a look at a few reader favorites that you won’t want to miss.

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Patently False

We’ve often wondered: If “patent trolls” and the “explosion” of lawsuits are strangling innovation as some critics claim, then why are the most blazingly innovative industries also the ones with the most new patents and lawsuits?

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Patent Reform That Makes Sense, Part II

In my previous post, I described a constructive proposal in Congress to attack the mass-mailings of “demand letters,” but patent reform isn’t just happening in the halls of Congress. The court system is pushing through another series of reforms that will make it harder and riskier for so-called “trolls” to file frivolous patent-infringement lawsuits.

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Patent Reforms That Make Sense, Part I

At Intellectual Ventures, we have always believed that the key to stopping abusive patent lawsuits is to focus on specific bad behavior. The “patent troll” problem isn’t that companies own patents and enforce them to prevent theft of their intellectual property.  

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WA Senators Highlight State Innovation

While our hunt for the world’s best inventors and inventions takes us around the globe, we often find some of the best ideas right in our back yard. With world-class research universities, a national laboratory, and a thriving start-up culture we are lucky to call Washington State home. We are also fortunate to be represented by members of Congress who understand the importance of innovation.

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What Explosion in Patent Litigation?

You won’t find a lot of coverage in the news, but we’re in the midst of a surprising and sharp drop in new patent lawsuits.   

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Software Patents: Just Because It’s in Code Doesn’t Mean it Isn’t an Invention

Within the loud and often incoherent chorus of anti-patent “reformers,’’ there’s a particularly shrill sub-group who rail against software patents.

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Five Fairy Tales To Quash in 2014

As Congress and regulators suit up for major battles this year over “patent trolls,” let’s put a lid on the fairy tales. High-powered industry lobbyists and their allies are swamping Washington with cartoons of hairy monsters (often in suits and carrying brief cases), baring fangs and wielding spiked clubs. There’s nothing wrong with a little entertainment to push a cause, but this debate is important to inventors and facts matter.  

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Memo to Congress: Courts Are Already Reforming the Patent System

It just got more dangerous to file frivolous patent infringement lawsuits – and that’s a good thing.

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What We’re Reading This Week

We’re still catching up from the holidays, but new research and opinions from a number of academic sources have come to the top of our crowded desks this week.

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Looking Back on 2013: The Marketplace for Invention Comes of Age

As we close the books on 2013, we look back on a remarkable year in which the modern marketplace for invention – a market we helped pioneer – really began to come into its own.   

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A Year’s Horizon

As this year comes to a close, I want to take the opportunity to look back and recognize some of the extraordinary events and milestones from 2013. IV has had the opportunity over the last 12 months to demonstrate the power and value of invention across a wide range of industries by collaborating with companies involved in agriculture, environmental packaging, scanning, photonics, and more.

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Inventor Spotlight: Richard Himmelstein

Richard Himmelstein’s innovations range from flying to furniture. No, really – he was recruited by IBM to help build the FAA and Department of Transportation’s original air traffic control system, and he went on to develop some of the first software programs to vertically integrate furniture sales for his own furniture company.

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Patents are Recipes, Not Monopolies, on Invention

There are many misconceptions in the political debates about “fixing” the patent system, but one particularly flawed idea is that patents are a kind of monopoly that stifles competition. If that were true, it would be a real problem. Competition is a cornerstone of our economic system, and it drives both spectacular innovation and lower prices for consumers.

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Patent Office Overload

For people with a stake in technology and innovation, it would be hard to find a more important and a more over-worked government agency than the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Yet at the very time that the agency’s budget has been cut, and it lacks a permanent director, Congress is weighing ideas to add even more to the workload.

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Patents and the U.S. Economy

History has shown us that patents and intellectual property are vital to a successful economy in the U.S.

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Why the Polite Term for “Trolls” is Also a Misnomer

If you’re a history buff, has a great column this week on how and why the Founding Fathers consciously designed the U.S. patent system to work the way it does.      

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The Future of Invention – What’s at Risk?

Last week, Intellectual Ventures co-founder and CEO Nathan Myhrvold addressed congressional staffers, media and the public in Washington D.C. In typical Intellectual Ventures style, the conversation ranged from cookbooks to cartoon villains but much of the discussion, moderated by patent scholar and George Mason University Law Professor Adam Mossoff, focused on the potential impact of patent reform.

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Are Patents Crushing Entrepreneurs? Another Myth Busted.

The latest charge from critics in Silicon Valley and Washington is that patents and patent lawsuits are stifling startups and technology innovation. It’s an important issue, to be sure. Technology entrepreneurs and garage-shop inventors have been crucial to economic growth throughout American history. And it is true that patent litigation has increased over the past several decades. Is this draining dynamism and competition?

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The Unraveling Myth of Patent Troll Litigation

Something new is happening in the heated political debate over patents and the alleged flood of lawsuits brought by so-called patent trolls: cooler voices are starting to prevail.

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GAO Reports “Misplaced” Focus on NPEs in Patent Litigation

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued its much-anticipated report  today on the increasing volume of patent litigation and the role of non-practicing entities – aka “trolls” –that own patents but don’t actually manufacture products based on those patents.   

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How to Punish the Real "Trolls"

Many times, I’ve acknowledged there is a real problem with so-called “patent trolls,” and that the heart of the problem is frivolous lawsuits. 

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Driven to Distraction?

Intellectual Ventures periodically comes under attack as a “patent troll” – falsely, I would argue – but sometimes these attacks provide what educators call a “teachable moment.”

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5 Inconvenient Truths about Patent Reform

If you listen to a rising chorus of critics, you might think that patents are killing innovation. Each week seems to bring new media attention to an alleged patent miscreant or some new hand-wringing about the volume of patent litigation. The White House, Federal Trade Commission and some members of Congress are proposing ideas to rein in patent “trolls” and “privateers.”

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